Grade Appeals

Grade Appeals

The Grade Appeal policy can be found in Academic Policies portion of the Bulletin.

The Director of Advising can assist students with the grade appeals process. The Associate Provost for Academic Success oversees the grade appeal process.

Instructors are responsible for assigning grades to student work. Responsibility for resolving grading disputes is shared among the instructor, the student, the department chair and the Provost’s Office.

If a student believes that they have been graded unfairly, the first step is to schedule a meeting with the instructor to discuss concerns. If, after talking with the instructor, the student continues to believe they have been graded unfairly, the student may file a written appeal with the department or program chair. The appeal must be lodged no later than four weeks into the semester following that in which the disputed grade was earned or four weeks after a final grade was entered to replace an incomplete, whichever is later. The only grounds for appealing an instructor’s grade is a student’s belief that a grade has been assigned on a capricious or arbitrary basis. That means:

  • The assignment of a grade to a particular student on some basis other than their performance in the course;
  • The assignment of a grade based on more exacting or demanding standards than were applied to other students in the course;
  • The assignment of a grade by a substantial departure from the instructor’s previously announced standards (for example, using criteria not specified in the syllabus or miscalculating the final grade).

After reading the written appeal, the department or program chair will consult with both the instructor and the student in reaching a recommendation on the appeal.  The chair’s recommendation should be made in writing and preserved if the student chooses to pursue a further appeal.

If the student is not satisfied with the departmental recommendation, they may submit a written appeal to the Associate Provost for Academic Success. The Associate Provost may convene a committee of faculty to review the case and make a recommendation to the Provost’s Office.

In cases in which a student alleges bias, discrimination, or other serious misconduct, the department or program chair and/or Associate Provost should direct the student to the relevant office for further investigation (e.g., Title IX, the Office of Diversity and Equity, or the Provost’s Office).  If an investigation is conducted by another campus office, the grade appeal process is paused pending resolution.  

The Provost’s Office may authorize a grade change in cases where an investigation by another office or the convened committee of faculty finds evidence that the student experienced discrimination, bias, harassment, or other capricious or arbitrary conduct.

The assignment of a “P” grade with waivers to count the course towards major and general education requirements may be an appropriate resolution to a successful grade appeal. 

(Note: This is the policy as revised and approved by College Senate, Spring 2021)